In his landmark book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our…
With the limited patience you might expect from a young girl, Bronny loves to fish. More surprisingly, she loves to clean the ones she catches.
One of the great lessons we can teach kids is how to catch, clean and cook a fish. When they do this, they make a connection with nature that few other wild experiences can provide. They gain important perspective on where food comes from, and they learn that eating certain foods means that sometimes a creature gives its life for our sustenance.
We’re mostly in favor of catch and release fishing. But in some of our local lakes, trout are abundant. So harvesting one or two, especially to help a child make that wild connection and learn to honor the food they eat, is a benign act…er, unless you’re the fish that gets harvested.
On this day, Bronny fished for cutthroat trout with one of the simplest set-ups ever devised: a bobber and worm. She loved watching the bobber twitch and then disappear when a fish took the bait. We used barbless hooks to minimize injury to fish that we released. With two good-sized cutties secured for breakfast, we called it a morning.
Bronny has learned the importance of caring for the fish she harvests, and fish anatomy fascinates her. Heart, gills, stomach (and contents therein), eggs and even brains are usually spread out for study.
Later we cooked both trout using one of the simplest and tastiest recipes for freshly-caught fish: butter (lots of butter), salt and pepper, and lemon with the fish wrapped in foil with a teaspoon of white wine. Cook in the coals until the flesh is steaming and flaky. Eat by the fire, where it seems to taste better than anywhere else.